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Reporting on the state of education in your community and across the country.

Report Finds Tuition Contributions Now Outweigh State Financing at Public Universities


For the first time ever, students are picking up the bulk of the tabs at state universities.

According to a study released earlier this week, tuition contributions now slightly outweigh the amount of financial support state governments shell out.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office tracked public colleges' revenue from 2003 to 2012. In 2003, the majority of colleges’ funding--32 percent--came from the states, USA Today reports.

Nine years later, that amount dropped to 23 percent, while students’ contributions via tuition increased from 17 percent to 25 percent.

“The bottom line is that college has become less affordable for students and their families,” study author Melissa Emrey-Arras was quoted as saying in USA Today. “It’s not just a perception thing. There really is truth to that in terms of the numbers that we’ve seen.”

Another study released this week paints a grim picture of college affordability both nationwide and here in Ohio.

Young Invincibles, a think tank promoting youth advocacy in Washington D.C., individually graded each state based on their higher education financing efforts, echoing the GAO’s findings of reduced state support and increased tuition rates.

The group released report cards breaking down a handful of categories, including the cost of tuition and the amount of aid states provide to students.

With one C- and four Fs, Ohio flunked.

“Ohio needs to invest in its future and prioritize funding higher education,” the group wrote. “The state relies too much on its students and families to cover the cost of tuition.”

Recently, the state’s higher education funding formulas changed. Now, both public four-year universities and community colleges will earn money based on the amount of students actually completing courses and graduating, instead of enrollment figures.